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Old 07-10-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


Looking for the cement Master out there:

Questions, questions, questions.. Something that has been nagging me for some time is this: I know now (after MUCH research) the fascinating history of lime and the advent of portland. Now, what exactly is type S and N cement? I mean, the term 'cement' is pretty generic (I know at least it's not plastic cement .. Are S and N just types of portland? Right now I have 3 bags of 'cement' in my basement: hydrated lime, type S cement, and portland. I want to try deck mudding my bathroom floor (never let the tile salesman tell you that you can use that stinky premixed stuff to stick tile to ply ) I'm curious which to use though. The straight portland? I don't think the lime.. Type S? But again what is it??

Thanks all!!

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Old 07-10-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


BTW- I'm pretty sure I will just use portland- but I'm looking for more info as always..

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Old 07-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


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Originally Posted by zantar View Post
Looking for the cement Master out there:

Questions, questions, questions.. Something that has been nagging me for some time is this: I know now (after MUCH research) the fascinating history of lime and the advent of portland. Now, what exactly is type S and N cement? I mean, the term 'cement' is pretty generic (I know at least it's not plastic cement .. Are S and N just types of portland? Right now I have 3 bags of 'cement' in my basement: hydrated lime, type S cement, and portland. I want to try deck mudding my bathroom floor (never let the tile salesman tell you that you can use that stinky premixed stuff to stick tile to ply ) I'm curious which to use though. The straight portland? I don't think the lime.. Type S? But again what is it??

Thanks all!!
You are talking apples and oranges.
Type N and Type S are mortars; with No sand and with Sand. These are a mixture of portalnd cement and lime without sand (N) and with sand (S).

Portland cement is used to make mortar and concrete.

Hydrated lime is an ingredient in mortar.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
You are talking apples and oranges.
Type N and Type S are mortars; with No sand and with Sand. These are a mixture of portalnd cement and lime without sand (N) and with sand (S).

Portland cement is used to make mortar and concrete.

Hydrated lime is an ingredient in mortar.
We don't use letters to identify mortar in the UK, but I thought that type N mix was 1/1/6 cement/lime/sand and S was 2/1/9.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


For masonry mortar (laying brick and block), letter designations are used to determine the type of mortar. ASTM C270 lists the types as M, S, N and O. Each type of mortar can be proportioned by blending Portland Cement or Masonry Cement with various other materials in prescribed proportions. Masonry or mortar cement is a blend of Portland cement and other fillers and additives to achieve desired properties. The traditional method is to use Portland and lime, while masonry and mortar cements are made and bagged for masonry mortar by cement producers. Mortar can be specified by either proportions or by properties, but not both.

As an example you can make Type M mortar by using 1 part Portland Cement and 1/4 part lime or 1 part Portland Cement and 1 part type N mortar or masonry cement (no added lime), or just 1 part type M mortar or masonry cement. All of these cementitious volumes should be mixed with 2 1/4 to 3 parts sand by volume. Other proportions are used for different types of mortar and are listed in ASTM C270..

For masonry purposes, the use of higher strength mortars is discouraged, since higher strengths are rarely needed and compromise other important properties such as workability and bond (see ASTM C270 appendix). Stronger is not always better.

Bottom line - Portland in the real and original modern cement. Mortar and masonry cements are a blend of Portland cement and other materials for convenience and marketing purposes. Mortar is a mixture of cementitious materials (Portland cement, lime, mortar and/or masonry cement) mixed with sand and water. - Clear as mud!

There are other materials that are called mortar, but have variable/different or no specifications.

Dick
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
You are talking apples and oranges.
Type N and Type S are mortars; with No sand and with Sand. These are a mixture of portalnd cement and lime without sand (N) and with sand (S).

Portland cement is used to make mortar and concrete.

Hydrated lime is an ingredient in mortar.
Thanks for the response. Not sure what you mean by apples and oranges- I already know lime is not portland, but I was not sure what N and S cement means. So you are saying it's a sort of mortar premix?

Hydrated lime is an ingredient in mortar yes- but it is also much much more than that..

I won't be using the bag of S cement for the mud then. I'll use the straight portland with 5 parts sand.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
For masonry mortar (laying brick and block), letter designations are used to determine the type of mortar. ASTM C270 lists the types as M, S, N and O. Each type of mortar can be proportioned by blending Portland Cement or Masonry Cement with various other materials in prescribed proportions. Masonry or mortar cement is a blend of Portland cement and other fillers and additives to achieve desired properties. The traditional method is to use Portland and lime, while masonry and mortar cements are made and bagged for masonry mortar by cement producers. Mortar can be specified by either proportions or by properties, but not both.

As an example you can make Type M mortar by using 1 part Portland Cement and 1/4 part lime or 1 part Portland Cement and 1 part type N mortar or masonry cement (no added lime), or just 1 part type M mortar or masonry cement. All of these cementitious volumes should be mixed with 2 1/4 to 3 parts sand by volume. Other proportions are used for different types of mortar and are listed in ASTM C270..

For masonry purposes, the use of higher strength mortars is discouraged, since higher strengths are rarely needed and compromise other important properties such as workability and bond (see ASTM C270 appendix). Stronger is not always better.

Bottom line - Portland in the real and original modern cement. Mortar and masonry cements are a blend of Portland cement and other materials for convenience and marketing purposes. Mortar is a mixture of cementitious materials (Portland cement, lime, mortar and/or masonry cement) mixed with sand and water. - Clear as mud!

There are other materials that are called mortar, but have variable/different or no specifications.

Dick
Thanks Dick, lot's of info here. Looks like I'm going to go with portland and sand I'll mix myself for this bathroom floor.

I hear you with regard to the stronger is not necessarily better point. I read a fair bit about how heritage homes are getting repointed with portland mortars and how it really should be done with lime. Very interesting stuff. I had started repointing my house before I found this out. I used the premix stuff which is definitily harder than the old (100 yrs) stuff. I think I'll be okay for the most part as my house is actually made out of road pavers! VERY HARD..
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


hey zantar,
just a word of caution:

if your bags are in a damp basement, or anywhere that's damp and/or they've been sitting a long time - BE CAREFUL!

i had pulled a bag of mortar out of my barn to build a shower curb. wound up having to rip apart the whole curb (after it was tiled) and rebuild it because the mortar was for crap and had been sitting to long and absorbed all the moister out of the air. luckily someone stepped on the curb before the top was done and snapped off some tiles and i was able to figure out what happened. it didn't cure properly and was all crumbly.
but i never would have realized.

i would say if there's any doubt, throw it away and spend another $5 on a new bag.

and incidentally: i think you want "deck mud" for your bathroom floor, which is actually a very lean sand mix, or about 5 parts sand to 1 part cement.
you don't want a mortar mix for your tile substrate.
or just use durock.

Last edited by wombosi; 07-11-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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Lime, type S/N cement and portland


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hey zantar,
just a word of caution:

if your bags are in a damp basement, or anywhere that's damp and/or they've been sitting a long time - BE CAREFUL!

i had pulled a bag of mortar out of my barn to build a shower curb. wound up having to rip apart the whole curb (after it was tiled) and rebuild it because the mortar was for crap and had been sitting to long and absorbed all the moister out of the air. luckily someone stepped on the curb before the top was done and snapped off some tiles and i was able to figure out what happened. it didn't cure properly and was all crumbly.
but i never would have realized.

i would say if there's any doubt, throw it away and spend another $5 on a new bag.

and incidentally: i think you want "deck mud" for your bathroom floor, which is actually a very lean sand mix, or about 5 parts sand to 1 part cement.
you don't want a mortar mix for your tile substrate.
or just use durock.
Thanks schmolze. You're right- it's deck mud that I'm doing (1:5). I just finished.. phew! Interesting process. I really hope that the portland was okay. Well see soon I guess

Fingers are crossed. I dumped the remainder out on the dirt, so I'll have a look in the morning.

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